Main Content

12 Fun Things to do in Abilene, Texas

Beyond the boundaries of Abilene Christian University, the city of Abilene offers a welcoming community that will soon feel like your second home. Take a leisurely stroll through picturesque parks, cozy up with a book at a local coffee shop, or gather your friends for an unforgettable night out on the town! Abilene is your go-to spot for a student-friendly blend of relaxation and fun.

Here are 12 ideas of things to do:

1. Explore Downtown

Abilene’s walkable Downtown Cultural District is home to live music venues, performing arts centers, a historic theater, charming shops and local boutiques, cafes and coffee shops, and the largest collection of storybook sculptures in the world. It’s a great place to spend a day with your friends.

2. Chill out at the Paramount

Attend a movie screening or live concert at the historic Paramount Theatre. Built in 1930, this iconic landmark boasts stunning Spanish Mission Revival architecture, complete with ornate detailing and a majestic marquee that lights up the night sky. It’s known for its classic film series as well as a variety of concerts and live performances presented throughout the year.

3. Visit The Grace Museum

The Grace Museum in the heart of downtown features a variety of art exhibits, historical displays and interactive activities. Watch for concert series and other events under the stars on the rooftop of The Grace. You’ll not find a better spot for viewing a West Texas sunset against the backdrop of Abilene’s skyline.

4. Stretch Your Legs at ArtWalk

ArtWalk is a mini-festival celebrating the visual and performing arts, Abilene-style, held on the second Thursday of each month. It’s an exciting cultural event that has been showcased on “Good Morning America” as a model for downtown renewal. With a different theme each month, you’ll experience art exhibits, local vendors, shows, street music, and plenty of shopping and dining options.

5. Jam to Live Music

Keep an eye out for musical performances at local venues, eateries and coffee shops. Abilene has a vibrant music scene, with talented musicians playing everything from country and blues to rock and jazz.

6. Find Your Favorite Festival

Throughout the year, Abilene hosts numerous festivals and events worth checking out. From the West Texas Fair & Rodeo to the Outlaws & Legends Music Festival to the City Sidewalks & Downtown Christmas Parade, there’s always something fun happening in town.

7. Visit the Abilene Zoo

Spend a day at the Abilene Zoo and get up close and personal with animals from around the world. The zoo features exhibits, animal encounters and educational programs for visitors of all ages, along with a nearby lake and perfect picnic spots. Also, watch for special events such as “Boo at the Zoo” and “Rock and Roar.”

8. Savor Local Cuisine

Abilene is home to many delicious and award-winning dining options. Sample world-famous Texas barbecue, Tex-Mex cuisine, or Southern comfort food at an incredible variety of local restaurants and eateries. Allen Ridge near the campus of ACU offers popular student options, including Cork-and-Pig, Fuzzy’s Tacos, The Biscuit Bar, Phoenix Pho, Twisted Root and Summer Moon Oak-Roasted Coffee.

9. Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Whether you’re conquering rugged trails at Abilene State Park, perfecting your aim at Nelson Park’s disc golf course, or hiking or picnicking at one of the city’s parks, the great outdoors is your playground for adventure! Connect with nature enthusiasts by joining outdoor clubs and groups in Abilene for hiking, biking, kayaking, birdwatching and more.

10. Take a Day Trip

Abilene is surrounded by scenic countryside and charming small towns. Consider taking a day trip to nearby attractions such as Buffalo Gap Historic Village, Lake Abilene or the small town of Albany. It’s a great way to explore the area and experience Texas hospitality.

11. Immerse Yourself in History

Abilene is home to many historic sites and landmarks. Step back in history at Frontier Texas, one of only a few storytelling museums in the world that features life-sized holograms as museum guides, sharing real life accounts of the Wild West. Visit places like the Swenson House, the Paramount Theatre, and the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum to learn even more about the city’s past and heritage.

12. Relax and Unwind

Sometimes, the best thing to do is simply relax and unwind. Take a leisurely walk in one of Abilene’s parks, find a cozy coffee shop to study or read, or spend time with friends exploring all that the city has to offer.

Get the inside scoop

Whether you’re craving some downtime to recharge or itching for a little adventure, you will find no shortage of things to do. Check out the Abilene Insider blog to get the inside scoop, local secrets, and the best of the best of Abilene!

And if you haven’t explored the campus of Abilene Christian, now is a great time to schedule a tour at!

SHARE: [Sassy_Social_Share type="standard"]